Thursday, 16 February 2012

Loving My Heart

This is a link to a video called 23 and 1/2 hours. It's excellent! I saw it at heart nutrition class this week and it really delivers a good message in an entertaining and meaningful way. It's Canadian, eh? It is worth watching.

So at class I also signed up for a nutrition tour of my local Superstore. What an amazing service! I wandered the aisles of my own familiar store with a Nutritionist for over an hour - just the two of us. We talked about the specific things I buy, alternatives, labels - wonderful personalized service. Free! It's arranged through the  local Heart ReHab Clinic I attend with family members. And that's another wonderful thing brought to us free. If you do plan to make changes to make your health better, there seem to be wonderful things out there to help you along.

I miss bacon. A lot. Next Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday, and I'm planning a little reunion.

The trip sewing is going very well. Pics when DH gets home. I'm also auditioning shoes for the suitcase. I wear a pair for several hours and if my feet are still happy, they go on to the next level  - auditioning with an outfit. I have a lot of shoes. I love my shoes. DH is promising me a suitable closet organizer for my shoes. They tremble in anticipation!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

My Koos Coat

I finished my coat! It was really fun. I know, I've been told it looks complicated, but it just went together so nicely and well - you look at the fabrics and colours and you have to admit - it's fun. I have no delusions about how it looks. It is truly an oddball, but I like it and I like wearing it.

The first step on my road to success was to read the directions and throw them out. OMG what were they thinking! If I had followed their steps it would have taken years, ended up distorted, stretched and I think full of holes for a whole variety of reasons. I did have faith in the pattern pieces making up properly as I had sewn a Koos designed dress previously. He cuts a nice, precise pattern. I hope I never learn that he did the instructions. I could never reconcile that with the cut.

The coat was meant to be reversible, and it could be - but again, not the way they want you to proceed. I had a nice cozy cotton double knit for the inside and it had nothing about it that wanted to see the light of day. This made life easier. If you remember seeing it cut in my previous blog entry, you remember it was front and back in one jellyfish shaped piece. Therefore I cut out all the exterior fabric puzzle pieces and basted them in place directly on the backing. I then dug out some lovely cotton bias trim and stitched directly over each joined edge. The directions wanted you to pin, clip and seam each piece together. Just look at those curves! These are the thoughts of an insane person bent on bringing sewers to the dark side for their nefarious glee!

Anyway, that was the basic approach. His sleeves look rectangular but sew in a spiral. I had experienced this before, so I knew to shorten them on a bias line across the sleeve. The pattern says this cannot be done. What a lack of imagination! I needed to lose at least 4 inches, so not doing it wasn't an option.

So last night I wore it to Sewing Guild where it was well received by kindred spirits. The assembled also took time to critique the fit of my blue top (previous post) and were most helpful. You know you are in a room of experts when they look up at you talking about your fit problems and start waving their fingers as they discuss the needed corrections with each other. They gave me feedback and a whole new mindset in minutes. I had been working on fit questions with the expert at Wild Ginger and she was most helpful as well. However friends look at things differently. They want it to fit AND look good on you. They see the whole picture and play with fit to complement the good parts and lose the bad. It's almost the same thing, but not at all, really. They also have the advantage of pulling and poking the top to try new things. At one point I was actually hoisted by my shoulders and indeed, they were right!

So now I am off to sew sundresses. The Dominican calls! I must reply!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Catching Up

I have 3 cameras, if you count my iPhone, and I do, and I lose track of what I put where. So here are some random pieces.

My brother bought me this yarn holder. Isn't it great! It's heavy so it stays put on the floor. The yarn stays put and there are holes or slots to feed the yarn through. Someone had their thinking cap on with this one!

This is my first sock. So lovely! Did I show this before? If so, needs to be shown again. Thank you Ginny!
These are my purse organizers. I need a new purse (s).
Fell over a chair while feeding cats at 5 am. Hence the leg. These are my first and ONLY pair of moccasins. It is like sewing cement booties. It took thimbles, many bent needles and strong pliers to get through the hide. They do feel like I'm wearing silk booties and make a soft protective  cover for the hand knit socks.

Luggage tags! This is what you do with fabric scraps. Just need to find a market and my stash will take another welcome hit.
 How's this for a weird shape? It's a Vogue Koos jacket pattern ( that looked interesting. My SINning group has a sewing day coming up so I got everything ready. The pattern calls for about 8 different fabrics - all tastefully coordinated on the pattern envelope, of course. I'm not good with fabric coordination. I also restricted myself to what I had on hand. You'll have to be the judge of how it turns out. The piece you are looking at is the front and back - the lining (or plain side) is all one piece, except for the sleeves - which are rectangular but sewn as a spiral. You really have to do it in blind faith, but I've done a dress of his before so I have the faith. 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

What Have I been up to?

I need to blog with more regularity.

I made monkey mug warmers for Christmas gifts, and now I'm making them to raise money for my fav charity, Grandmothers to Grandmothers ( I like to make things, and this is a good outlet. Usually I just hand them over to be sold, but this way I get to make the donation and I also get the tax receipt! I love tax receipts!

The monkeys look like this and the pattern can be found at There's a space for your mug handle!
I also make purse organizers. I bought one and didn't like it, in spite of the big bucks I spent for it. So I designed one to work for me. They are somewhat satisfying to make, but they are time intensive. I may get tired of these in the near future. 

I have been working on my pattern software (Wild Ginger) and getting a better fit. Pictures of my work are the best way to evaluate fit, however they remind me of the weight I need to lose. The truth hurts. So sad. 

Enough of that. Here are the first and second tops. The blue one pointed out a need widen the shoulders a titch. I did that but I'm still unhappy with the amount of fabric above the bust and the line the armhole takes. Both problems seem determined to give me wings. I am no angel. Wings don't suit. Also the sleeves look as if they need alignment across the cap section. Fortunately the folks at WG don't seem to mind giving suggestions and help so I'll update them on progress and wait for their next suggestions. As for design, I need to add details to break up the vast expanse of fabric that is me. Pockets help. The beige collar is the worst collar ever. I won't be making that again. I think I'll cut it down a bit. That may help. Also, the neckline should have dropped lower. I look like I'm choking. There are so many decisions to make when you are your own designer.